Saturday, May 6

I'M BACK

Hi all, I'm back.
In case you hadn't noticed I was gone, I was away for easter over... well, easter, and returned to a.) tax time looming ahead (don't ask - usual hassle over getting required veveosi from bank) and b.) a big pile of dog poo at work that required lots of overtime and such... including woking from home the entire trimero. This whole job thing is getting rather tiresome. When is my grade 11 (last year of high-school in Quebec) art teacher's prediction for my future going to come true???
Curious? This is what he predicted:
The last day of class, he told everyone what they would be when they grew up - he was kind of an eccentric ex-hippy guy. Anyway, around the class he went - you'll be a graphic designer, you'll be an architect, you'll be a this and a that, and when he got to me he said... "You... you're going to marry a Greek millionaire and live on top of a mountain in Greece and paint all day." At the time I was insulted, but now that real life has reared its ugly head I must admit the idea is growing increasingly attractive by the day.
ANYWAY that's OK I don't need a millionaire. I've got my own plan to escape from the drugery of the 9 to 5 - or 8... or 10... or even 10:30 when the secretaries start calling me up and telling me to leave or they'll lock me in - grind.
Yes I know I've been keeping you all on tenterhooks since my last post about just what this plan is. Ha ha.
(Thanks all for your comments and support by the way. I'll get around to answering at some point when I'm not as lazy as I am now.)
But you'll have to remain breathless for a while longer. All the details aren't yet worked out and I don't want to broadcast something that just aint going to happen. Or maybe I'm just sadistic.
However, my time away at easter was well spent back in the horio, doing a study of all the minutae of village life, that you may all benefit from my experiences there. Based on my tireless and selfless research, I am now preparing a brilliant sequal in what has become known around the Net as the "V.S." series. It will be called BIG CITY BLUES vs. THE VACUOUS VILLAGE.
Sorry. See. Too much work and stress makes me vent through ridiculous, and probably highly unamusing, sarcasm. Therefore someone should offer me a better job in order to stop me from writing this kind of drivel. But seriously now, I am writing up a little post on the subject - as it seems to be one of interest to everyone, with strong feelings on both sides... patience please, it's simmering away in there.
In the meantime: two things I have been doing to de-stress at the end of each long day, which you, my fellow bloggers, may enjoy.
The first, in fact, should immediately be added to your REQUIRED READING list, if you haven't read it already. It is called EURYDICE STREET, by Sofka Zinovieff, a British anthropologist who married a Greek and (after living in MOSCOW - !) moved with her husband to Athens when he was transferred here. Not only will ex-pats identify with much of what she goes through adjusting to life here, everyone (including native Athenians) will learn a lot about Athens, or at least get a new perspective on the city. And never fear, though Zinovieff doesn't shy from discussing the problems she encounters, she doesn't fall into the trap of "Greek bashing" either - extra brownie points from me.
The only criticism I have of the book is that the couple are wealthier than average (her husband is a foreign minister) and her experiences may not be entirely representative of the average ex-pat's - they live by the beach in Vouliagmeni, and think nothing of socialising with a Papandreou and the likes of Koulouglou (from Reporters Without Borders - gasp! I really admire that guy, and got a thrill when I realised who she was having coffee with!) Anyway, I'll stop before I get too book-review-y and bore everyone to death. Here's a real review. (Btw the book is also available in Greek.)
The second mode of entertainment I discovered are three games in a series called Hapland which I think are just really cute and whimsical - not to mention tough. If you don't resort to walkthroughs they'll take you hours, if not days to complete. I cheated, I must admit, but to deter others from doing the same, here's some useful info that might have helped me not give up so soon (it'll make sense once you see the game):
- The torches are those little bracket things over the archways.
- It's not enough to click on things in the right order - you have to click on some things simultaneously as well.
- Little round green things are grenades. You can throw them. Where you are standing and which arrows you click will determine where they are thrown.
- Try to see where the beginning must be, then determine where you want to end up, and what is standing in your way. Then, using logic (and trial and error) figure out how to remove the roadblocks and set everything up so everyone and everything is where it needs to be for the finale - like a complicated piece of disassembled machinery.
- Lastly, as the instructions say, click on EVERYHING, in different sequences and combinations, until some things start to happen that make sense. Then try to string these events together in an order that works, based on your observations from the point above.
Good luck!
And with some luck on my part, I'll soon have enough time and energy to write something with a bit more substance... Here's hoping anyway.

4 comments:

The SeaWitch said...

Welcome back Kass. I thought maybe you made good on your escape plan and ditched Athens for the better life outside it. LOL

kassandra said...

Ha ha you're not getting rid of me that easily! Plus, I'd never leave without saying goodbye... which reminds me, a very very belated kalo pasxa to everyone - I ended up with about an hour to throw some things in a suitcase and make it to the ferry, hence the lack of notification and holiday greetings!
Anyway, recently Mitilini obtained high-speed internet so when I do go (which alas won't be for another year-to-year-and-a-half) never fear! My blog is coming with me...

Flubberwinkle said...

Glad you're back and had a good time. Thanks for the book and game tip. Here's ones of my favourite stops for interactive online games: http://www.plastelina.net/
There are a few freebies online. Enjoy.

Nick said...

Hi reading your blog with interest and agreed with your every comment about EURYDICE STREET - a very intersting read

As you mentioned tax time, I wondered if you could offer any advise on how to find a reasonable accountant in Athens? I've been told that it's best to have one in the same area as you have your AFM from but I'm not sure how true this is.

If you can offer any insights I'd be grateful

Thanks